DIY Home Repairs

There are a lot of common home repairs out there that people often think only professionals can handle. Before calling up a professional and spending your money, take a look at our list of easy-to-fix DIY home repairs.

Clean faucet aerator

Water not coming out the way it’s supposed to? Your faucet’s aerator screen may be dirty or clogged. You don’t need a professional to clean out the screen. Make sure the sink’s drain plug is closed, then use a rag to screw the aerator open.

Unclog toilet

Nothing worse than a clogged toilet that you can’t unclog with the plunger. Before you grab the snake, grab some dish soap. Pour in about half a cup of liquid dish soap and let it sit. The soap will help everything slide through much easier when you flush[1].

Cover-up ceiling stain

Water stains on the ceiling can be tough to hide without painting the whole ceiling. If the stain is isolated, you can use a spray on product, Upshot by Kilz. This works by matching an aged ceiling and sprays vertically. This way you can just stand and spray up. Just make sure to cover up the walls with plastic and put a cloth on the floor.

You can also try to bleach water stains to reduce how prominent the stains look. Just make a bleach solution with water. Spray the spot and wait a few days for it to fade.

Loose shower head/pipe

Got an unsteady shower head or wobbly pipe? Easy fix, all you need is some expanding foam.

Sticky lock

Are your keys sticking in the lock? Don’t give up on it yet. You can fix it with a pencil. You can rub pencil graphite on the teeth of the key. When you insert the key it will distribute the coating on the lock. This will help the key glide much more smoothly.

Squeaky Door

A door that’s sticking or squeaking, when opened or closed, can be very annoying. An easy less messy way to get rid of the squeak is some petroleum jelly. Just rub some on the hinges and that should help with the squeak.

Do you have other DIY home repair tricks up your sleeve? Share them with us in the comments!

[1] https://www.familyhandyman.com/smart-homeowner/diy-home-improvement/10-minute-house-repair-and-home-maintenance-tips/view-all/

Winter Home Survival Guide

Winter is finally here and snow is not too far away. Check out these tips to make sure your home pulls through the winter in one piece.

Gutter Cleaning

Ideally, your gutters should be cleaned out in the fall to avoid debris overflow. Before the first heavy snow hits it important to clean debris out of your gutters. When the snow melts it needs to go somewhere. A clean gutter allows the melted snow to flow easily. If your gutter is filled with debris, you risk melted snow and water running behind the gutters and leaking into your walls. Water leaking into your walls can lead to mold growth.

Proper Snow removal

Heavy snow can be overwhelming for a roof, especially when it piles on after many snow storms. It is only logical to try and remove some of that burden by getting rid of some of the snow yourself. However, when removing snow off your roof, it has to be done correctly or else you risk damaging your roof or possibly even hurting yourself.

You want to invest in a snow rake for this, they’re available in most hardware stores. When removing snow, take off a few inches at a time[1]. Don’t dive straight into trying to scrape the roof clean in one go. Remove icicles from the edge of the roof and make sure your gutters are clean. Avoid stepping on the roof if you can. If going on the roof can’t be avoided, hire a professional or always have another person with you as you work.

Attic Insulation to prevent Ice Dams

Before the winter hits its peak make sure your attic is properly insulated. You want it to be comfortable but you don’t want your attic getting too warm either. A really warm attic causes snow to melt at high points on your roof and freezing back up as icicles and ice dams. Ice dams can block your gutters and cause water damage to your home. If your attic is getting warm enough to melt snow in freezing temperatures then you’re probably losing heat and money. It’s important to have a professional take a look at your attic if this is the case.

These are just a few of many ways you can make sure your house makes it through the winter in one piece.

For more home improvement tips, check out our other blog posts.

[1] https://www.mass.gov/service-details/roof-collapse-and-snow-removal-safety-information

Enhancing your Bay Windows

Bay windows look great both on the outside and on the inside. They add curb appeal to your home while letting in a lot of natural light. Bay windows help make a room look bigger, making cramped spaces feel less stifling. Depending on the style installed, your bay window might also provide a cozy nook where you can watch the world go by.

Once you have them installed, or if you already have some, here are some ways you can enhance the look of your bay windows.

Curtains and Blinds

Because bay windows are designed to be large and to let in a lot of light, they leave very little for privacy.  Installing curtains or blinds allows you to control how much light comes in and when. You can open them up during the day and close them at night, or close them during the day if it’s too bright. Curtains and blinds provide a great styling option to enhance the indoor and outdoor look of your bay window.

You can buy ready-made curtains specifically made for bay windows, or you can also get customized curtain poles for your bay windows to ensure the perfect fit. If you opt to go with blinds, use vertical blinds. These allow you to angle them for privacy. You can pair your blinds with curtains for a stylish look.

Window Seat

If your bay window has a big enough of a ledge it can be turned into a cozy nook. Add in some seat cushions, colorful fabric and you have yourself a stylish cozy nook. It creates an extra relaxation space in your home.  The perfect place to cuddle up with a book and hot chocolate on a snow day.

Other Décor Items

Bay window ledge not big enough for a relaxation nook? No worries. You can still decorate it so space doesn’t look empty. You can place indoor plants or even decorative vases on the ledge. If you have a cat who likes to curl up on the ledge, avoid putting any breakable items up there.

What are some ways you enhance the looks of your bay window?  Let us know in the comments below.

5 Home Prep Tips for the Fall

Chilly days and falling leaves are right around the corner. The last few weeks of summer are the perfect time to get your home ready for fall.

Here are some ways to get your home ready for the fall.

Furnace and Boiler Prep

Colder days means a need for warmer temps indoors. The weeks leading up to fall are a perfect time to make sure your furnace or boiler are ready to go. To be on the safe side, have your furnace inspected professionally for peace of mind. Replace the filters so your furnace runs efficiently. An efficient furnace during the fall and winter save you money on heating costs.

Fireplace & Chimney Prep

If you have a fireplace now is the time to clean it out. A clean and prepped fireplace and chimney helps to avoid chimney fires. Preparing your fireplace ensures that it runs effectively and works well throughout the fall and winter. There are professionals available for chimney cleaning. Get a professional so you can ensure it is done right. Enjoy family time around the fireplace with peace of mind.

Clean Gutters

Before the leaves start falling, clean out what debris you currently have in your gutters. This will help minimize gutter clogging. Be sure to keep up a regular gutter cleaning schedule during the fall. Don’t feel like cleaning your gutter all the time during the fall? Invest in a gutter guard. This will keep debris and leaves out of your gutter, reducing how much cleaning you actually have to do.

Rearrange tool-shed

Put away the lawn mower, hedge trimmers, and other summer tools. Set out the necessary tools and equipment for fall. Set out your leaf blower, rake, broom, etc. Having these things out and arranged for easy access makes your life easier in the fall. You won’t have to go digging and searching when it’s time to rake the leaves or sweep the yard.

Get a Home Energy Inspection

Finally, get a home energy inspection to make sure you’re not losing energy. Leaks and drafts make it hard to efficiently heat your home. To keep your home comfortable without draining your wallet, get an inspection. A home energy inspector usually checks the attic insulation, windows, doors and more to make sure your home is as efficient as possible.

Check these off your list and you’re closer to having your home ready for the fall season. Are there other things you do to get your home ready each fall? Let us know in the comments.